U.S. Soccer is a for profit business harming the diversity of the sport & holding the national team

Discussion in 'WNT/MNT/World Cup/Int'l Soccer' started by younothat, May 18, 2018.

  1. younothat

    younothat Silver

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    The financial demands of soccer in the United States are harming the diversity of the sport and holding the national team back
    http://www.businessinsider.com/us-soccer-diversity-2018-5

    "One of the biggest, if not the biggest, drivers of the growth of soccer in the United States has been immigration from Latin American countries, where soccer is overwhelmingly the sport of choice.

    Within U.S. Soccer as a program, Latin-Americans are scantily represented, and it's a problem that is holding back U.S. Soccer, preventing talented youngsters from being able to inject some much-needed skill into American soccer teams.

    "It's very difficult for young immigrant families to pay to play," said Herculez Gomez, a Mexican-American soccer player who played for the U.S. Men's National Team at the 2010 World Cup. "Often times these Latin-American kids . . . get overlooked because they don't have the funds. It's very much a suburban sport."

    " U.S. Soccer is primarily a business enterprise, operated by businessmen to make a profit"

    "At this level, we have people within the United States who make decisions based off financial reasons, or for other types of reasons that aren't sporting," Gomez said.

    Another problem is that U.S. Soccer needs more representation within its organizational ranks.

    "At the highest levels of U.S.S.F., there's not enough representation for Hispanic, Latino-Americans," Salazar said. "It's also representation in terms of coaching. If you look at youth national team coaching, there's not enough representation, if you compare it to the amount of kids who are actually playing."

    These are not small or simple changes, and unfortunately, U.S. Soccer is an organization that appears resistant to change. But expanding the game so that it reaches kids of all backgrounds and making the national team more representative is utterly essential if the United States is to have a national team that is both more quintessentially American and more successful on the soccer field".

    In Socal we have a better representation for Hispanic, Latino-Americans, but I guess the rest of the country could be lacking..
     
  2. push_up

    push_up Bronze

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    USSF is racist!
     
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  3. MWN

    MWN Silver Elite

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    I have to say that the article represents why journalism is dying in America. An entire article quoting two hispanic athletes, with no critical thought/challenges to the claims to these athletes claims. Conclusory statements that are not challenged or supported by any factual claims (lack of representation in the USSF? What USSF programs exist to reach out? What is the USSF's response?)

    The author of the article demonstrates a fundamental lack of understanding of the role the USSF plays and the legal limitations imposed on the USSF by the USOC. For example, the author cites the amount of money the MLS (not the USSF) charges and then argues that money should be diverted from the for-profit MLS to non-profit academies associated with the MLS, not realizing these are different legal entities. The author cites european academies and doesn't once mention why the system doesn't exist in the US (hint ... the answer is solidarity and training fees).

    Taking a step back, let's look at Cal South (a US Youth Soccer affiliate, US Youth Soccer is a USSF Youth Council member) and the inability of Cal South to get the Mexican Leagues operating outside the USSF/US Youth Soccer/Cal South structure inside the structure. The objections/issue Cal South has encountered are:

    1) Club/Leagues must be 501(c)(3) non-profits.
    2) Coaches/Admins/Managers must be "live scanned"
    3) Parents/Players must fill out application.
    4) Participants at the higher levels must travel throughout SoCal.

    There are about 1.4 million undocumented immigrants in SoCal (https://www.dailynews.com/2017/02/0...southern-california-than-anywhere-else-in-us/) (of which the vast majority are hispanic) out of 14 million hispanics living in SoCal according to the 2010 census. So about 10% are undocumented.

    One of the biggest issues for many of these families with undocumented members is a major distrust of the "system" and a desire to be somewhat anonymous. The coaches/admins don't want to be live-scanned if undocumented. The leaders of the leagues and clubs don't want to have to form a 501(c)(3) and undergo the IRS scrutiny and hassle.

    The above are the challenges of getting these kids/families into the Federation's youth affiliates. Its not racism by the USSF, but the realities that many of these kids and their families are afraid or unwilling to enter the system any why should they when there are plenty of leagues operating outside of the US Youth Soccer/Cal South or AYSO or U.S. Club (the 3 big USSF youth council members).

    To top every thing off, the President then just drove many of these families to further distrust the "system" with its current "Dreamer / DACA" policies.

    My point is Pay-2-Play is just one element of the problem, the US immigration system is another major element when looking at hispanic players that should also be addressed. The article misses a great opportunity to look at the entire problem.
     
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  4. push_up

    push_up Bronze

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    All of these fake 'problems' would be eliminated if the illegals would immigrate to the USA LEGALLY. Oh, and by the way, MSN, it is not a 'system' it is a set of laws that undergirds our representative republic.
     
  5. INFAMEE

    INFAMEE Bronze

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    I'm not about to read your garbage again, dude.

    For someone who likes to share information all day in this forum you sure as hell no nothing about the clubs you participate in.

    Arsenal FC Academy are not full funded. Jeez
     
  6. Justafan

    Justafan Silver

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    Relax Push_up, you do realize there’s never been a “line” to do America’s dirty work right?

    Oh yes, with respect to the nation of laws, someone in the WH doesn’t seem to think so. Gottta pick one or the other, you can’t have it both ways.

    And just a little reminder, despite having “illegals” for over 150 years in California, California has SOMEHOW managed to become the 7th largest economy in the world and almost double the next two states, Texas and New York. (Hmmm, what do all of these three states have in common?).
     
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  7. JJP

    JJP Silver

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    Can we stop this doom and gloom? The fact of the matter is that soccer rises from a talent pyramid in a hotbed area that’s seeped with soccer culture. What I mean by this is, an area that produces a couple of world class players at the top of a pyramid will produce several high quality pros at the second level of the pyramid, lots of pro level players at the third level of the pyramid, countless semi-pro level players at the fourth level and so on.

    There needs to be an infrastructure to support every level of the pyramid so that talent can compete at each level, and the cream can rise to the top. If you look at Europe and S. America, you have top level clubs, weaker clubs in top divisions, division 2 clubs, division 3 clubs, semi-pro clubs. There is a forest with many trees and branches where talent can be discovered, honed, and passed up on the pyramid.

    In America we have a few sparse branches. Talent can’t get better on its own. Talent has to play with talent and compete with equivalent or better talent. The talent develops here up to a point and then stagnates.

    I think that’s pretty freaking obvious. Who has Galaxy Academy produced? Gyasi Zardes? He’s a great athlete but not a great soccer player. I keep hearing Dallas FC touted as the best academy, but who have they produced that was a special player? I can’t think of even one guy.

    My point is if the top of our talent development period is that bad, then the lower levels of our pyramid are going to be even worse.

    It’s not going to change until we improve the soccer culture and build a forest of clubs, leagues, etc.
     
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  8. MWN

    MWN Silver Elite

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    @JJP,
    The "tree" analogy is good. Flip it on its head and consider it a root structure, we have at best 3 branches, whereas England has 14+. But, I think its a mistake to look at the youth clubs and ask "who have we produced." These youth programs age out at 18 and then its up to the "pro" level to develop, knowing that these players will reach their professional peak at age 26/27+. Moreover, much of our best talent chooses college over a professional soccer career because its the wiser move. There is little incentive to join the "pro ranks" in the US.

    When you look at the premise of the article "US Soccer is a for-profit business" its demonstrates just how out-of-touch the author is to the realities. In the US, we are not for-profit when it comes to youth talent. Europe, Africa, Latin America ... all for profit. In the US we have stripped the "for profit" aspect from the youth game by expressly refusing to administer the FIFA solidarity payments and training fees. These fees and the popularity of the sport in other countries drive the youth programs ... here in the US, without this profit source, clubs are forced to rely on the single source ... parents. Here is an article/author that understands: https://www.jacobinmag.com/2017/10/us-mens-soccer-gulati-ussf-mls-solidarity-fees.
     
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  9. reno114

    reno114 Bronze

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    Here is my two cents, as the father of a boy, who recently joined a team in the "Mexican League" and is also playing club soccer, I can only give my novice opinion, on my observations of this league.
    In the "Mexican League", I have noticed the passion and love these boy's have for just playing soccer. The families of these boy's have been very gracious and welcoming to us and I have noticed how supportive they are of their son's desire to just simply play.
    I have also noticed during games, the individual creativity, touch and confidence in how they play and how intense and fast paced the games are in this league.
    It is my opinion there are boy's who display the ability to excel in club soccer, but for what ever reason choose not to. It is mind boggling and baffling to think of how many boy's play in leagues throughout America , that are not sanctioned by the USSF, but never get the opportunity to showcase their talent. Sadly, with this amount of boy's playing, the U.S. will never be competitive on the international stage.
     
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  10. Grace T.

    Grace T. Silver

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    I think the "immigrants can't afford club soccer" argument is a bit overstated. There are lots of Latino dominated teams coming out of the San Fernando Valley, for example. And we had a real nice chat with one teen and his family at the Galaxy game that played for a top team in San Diego (kid had some great advice for my son). So they are out there.

    The real problem, as I've said before, is time...with both parents working it's often incredibly hard to get the kids to practice. One of the team's my son tried out for was minority-dominated...some incredibly talented kids but many were missing practices and practices got scrubbed because of transport issues (even sometimes cars breaking down). Then on top of missing practices, working class kids can't afford the fancy camps and trainers that more upscale families have. Finally, since our system is geared for college players, unless the kid is something real special, grades are a key component to college and the working-class kids may not have access to a great school (America actually would have some of the top performing schools in the world if we took only our suburban schools....our urban and rural public schools pull the national average way down) so that when it comes time to go to college, that's the end of their careers. And college can be difficult to afford (since male soccer scholarships are fewer and far between than football scholarships). And as MWN noted, the live scan thing can be a real problem too for potential coaches and refs.

    Even getting them into the starter system can be an issue unless their local AYSO or other rec league is minority dominated. My son's second AYSO team had an immigrant family in it. He played very rough. Got tut-tutted a lot by the other largely upper middle class family. As their ref, I often found myself having to blow the whistle for the kid for rough contact. And they were, because they were uncomfortable with their English, reluctant to socialize with the other families (even us, given our more upperclass Spanish accents). If we had a local Latino league, I'm sure they would have gone there instead. And once in the Latino league, they might not know about the opportunities of club soccers....we were at the beach this weekend at a largely Hispanic park....my son was practicing his keeping and some kids noticed him and called him over to play with them a pickup game. Chatted with some of the other parents...they had no idea about club soccer.
     
  11. push_up

    push_up Bronze

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    Wow. Three incredibly racist statements by Graca T. aka Roseanne Barr!
     
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  12. Grace T.

    Grace T. Silver

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    If Rosie were African American. :rolleyes: Here's another tidbit....Latinos aren't a monolithic block and in fact their can be a great deal of hatred between groups (Catholics v. Evangelicals, one nationality v another, early arrivals v later arrivals, how they came [legal v. illegal], the amount of Native American blood and don't even get me started on those of Spanish from Spain or Portuguese from Portugal descent). I've written before how my father used to play for an adult Latino league....the rivalry between nations was ridiculous (as were the class divisions)....1 year and he hung up his boots.
     
  13. reno114

    reno114 Bronze

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    In a nutshell, the basic factors for soccer success are as follows, passion, opportunity and development. Break down each one of these factors to solve the problem of our under-performing International team.

    I scratch my noggin wondering how countries with a population of 10 million people can defeat a team representing the most powerful country in the world, with over 330 million people.

    The World Cup is starting in a couple of weeks and here we sit at home, something needs to change.
     
  14. MWN

    MWN Silver Elite

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    We are getting slightly off topic, but all you need to do is look at the roster of the US Team that lost and examine where each of those National Team players trained/play the previous year. The US Men's team (Bruce Arena) selected the majority of players from a substandard league (the MLS), rather than relying primarily on US nationals that play at the highest level (Premiere, Bundesliga, Champions, Ligue 1, Superligean, Serie A, etc.)

    We had eight players the played as starters or subs who played/trained the previous year in the MLS:

    Tim Howard - Colorado Rapids MLS
    Matt Besler - Spoting KC MLS
    Kellyn Acosta - FC Dallas MLS Sub
    Michael Bradley - Toronto FC MLS
    Paul Arriola - DC United MLS
    Darlington Nagbe - Atlanta United FC MLS
    Benny Feihaber - Spoting KC MLS Sub
    Jozy Altidore - Toronto FC MLS

    We had five players that played Internationally:
    DeAndre Yedlin - Newcastle Untd Premiere
    Christian Pulisic - Borussia Dortmund Bundesliga
    Bobby Wood - Hamburg SV Bundesliga
    Omar Gonzalez - Pachuca (MX) Liga MX
    Jorge Villafana - Santos Laguna (MX) Liga MX

    The average talent level in the MLS is on par with the second (EFLC) or third level (EFL One) of the English leagues and could be worse. I would love to see if the Galaxy could compete against Wigan Athletic or Stoke City or any of the other clubs in the EFLC.

    Getting back on point. We have a tremendous number of American national players with Latin American roots that are not in the US Soccer structure because of a variety of reasons that range from depressed socioeconomic status to avoidance of the system for legal reasons. Given the fact that the US professional level is substandard, we should embrace the recent efforts of Liga MX to penetrate the US market. If we really, truly wanted to help these American players we actively petition FIFA to relax Article 19.
     
  15. reno114

    reno114 Bronze

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    I do not disagree with you insight, I do have to mention that the players you refer to, that were selected from the MLS, all had the opportunity to play in Mexico or Europe. What does that say about their developement?

     
  16. El Clasico

    El Clasico Silver

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    I have no idea what this means. Please explain.
     
  17. MWN

    MWN Silver Elite

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    It summarizes in a few words what I wrote earlier in this thread:

    With approximately 10% being of the target population being undocumented, their legal status creates barriers for many families. Typically what we see (my experience with about 50 to 60 players/families) is that for this group the youth player was born in the US, but mom and dad were not and are not in the US legally, as such, there is a distrust to do anything that might put them in the "system." These families have concerns filling out a mandatory US Youth Soccer - Player Application and will absolutely refuse to be live scanned. How many kids simply won't sign up for US Soccer affiliated programs (AYSO, US Youth, US Club, etc.) because mom and/or dad are undocumented? To make matters worse, there is a tremendous distrust of the system with the current administration, especially in light of the DACA/Dreamers about face.

    Speaking of SoCal, the "Mexican Leagues" successfully operate outside of the US Soccer / US Youth Soccer-Cal South structure. A 2013 article estimated there were about "...100,000 independent Hispanic soccer league players in the L.A. DMA participate in year-long seasons on both weekdays and weekends... " (Article) They don't require the admins, coaches, managers, referees, etc. to go through a "Live Scan" background check process; there are no player cards, the coaches can be undocumented, the travel is limited to the community, thus, families are not required to move past the Oceanside or Temecula immigration checkpoints, the costs ($25-$100) are far less than traditional "clubs" and the level of play is very high.

    Programs such as, Alianza de Futbol Hispano, which operates outside Federation oversight has found great success in addressing the needs of the US Hispanic by relaxing the rules and providing a path to the Latin American professional leagues/teams.
     
  18. reno114

    reno114 Bronze

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    I would not solely blame the recent new administration for the lack of hispanics not gravitating towards USSF run leagues, this issue is not just recent, but has been going for generations. It boils down to the financial cost of playing club.
     
  19. MWN

    MWN Silver Elite

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    It says that these players chased the money instead of development and are not our future. The US Federation shot its own foot by allowing Bruce Arena to reverse Klinsmann's position. If you recall, back when Klinsmann was the boss he encouraged players to avoid the MLS and play oversees or in Latin America. He derided players for returning to a substandard league. He actively feuded with the MLS/Don Garber when Dempsey returned to Seattle and Bradley to Toronto. (See, Klinsmann not happy with American returns to MLS (Oct. 2014)).

    With regard to Bradley and Dempsy:
    With regard to Jozy Altidore:
    Klinsmann had his issues and ultimately lost the battle with the MLS and was pressured by Suni Gullati and the Federation to choose substandard players from a substandard league. But one thing is absolutely crystal clear, Klinsmann was right when it comes to where US Players train and play. From the 2017 Article "The Mass Return of USMNT Players to MLS Was a Catastrophic Mistake"
     
  20. El Clasico

    El Clasico Silver

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    @MWN

    I guess that our only agreement is that we both believe the current club soccer structure and Cal South discriminate against the inner city/poorer demographics by maintaining their higher barriers to participate in "club soccer" by creating and enforcing silly rules that only serve to discriminate. The requirement of a 501(c)3 is a perfect example of that. Look at all the mega clubs getting rich with their non profits while the minorities are kept out because they put the money into the kids and don't have the thousands needed to jump the hurdles.

    As for the other things mentioned, all of my kids started or played in the Mexican leagues and we are still involved and I have never, ever heard anyone say that they don't want to play club soccer because whitey mandates that they fill out an application. Is your thought process that we think that if we fill out a cal south player application that ICE is going to get a hold of them and track everyone down and deport them? Or maybe the coaches don't want to get live scanned since they are all felons and ICE will come after them? I am lost on your logic and I think that you are way off base and out of touch with reality. Again, as I have said before, US soccer can't fix our lack of talent problems because they (and their followers) don't understand what the problems are.

    I do agree that transportation is more difficult but we all manage to find a way to get to where we need to go IF we want to. Our kids are worth it to us.

    Not to me, but your reasoning would likely be pretty insulting to a lot of people.
     
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